June was the third consecutive month where sales were lower than the same month last year (down 23%) with 8442 residential sales on TREB. At the half way point of the year, sales are still 23% higher than for the first six months of 2009. While the second half of the year will be much slower than a year ago, we are forecasting 85-90,000 sales which will be the second best year on TREB and just shy of the all time record of 93,000 sales in 2007. Historically, 55% of all sales occur in the first six months of a year. This year we expect the number to be closer to 60%. When buyers realizes that HST DOES NOT APPLY TO RESIDENTIAL RESALES, which should be by September, then we should experience a more normal fall market.
The condo market performed better than the overall market in June. Sales were down by 13% over June of ’09. Downtown, condo sales were lower by just 10%. In terms of sales volume, we expect the condo market to outperform the overall market. But in terms of prices, we expect some softening because of new projects coming to market which will increase supply. Again the real challenge is in pricing the property to sell. In June of 2009 it took 30 days for a downtown condo property to sell. This June it took only 25 days!! Pricing is everything.
In this issue, we examined sales at 410 Queens Quay, a condo at Spadina by Monarch. We looked at 4 units, all sold in 2010. The first unit, sold in February, was a one bedroom at just over 600 sf with no parking, locker, but a city view which sold for $284,000. It previously sold for $241,000, 18 months earlier, for a gain of 18%. The second unit, sold in May, was also a one bedroom at 505sf but it had both a locker and parking but on a lower floor with no view. It sold for $262,000. If you adjust for the floor and size differences, this buyer got the parking and locker for only $15,000! The next two units examined were both one bedroom plus dens with parking and locker. The first unit with a lake view at 800 sf sold in June of this year for $415,000. It sold in October of ’09 for $432,000 (see how fast the market turns) and in 2003 for $306,000. The total increase in less than 7 years was 36%. We cannot emphasize enough that you will always come out ahead if you hold a property for several years – there are no guarantees for one year holds! The second unit with a city view at 750 sf sold for $340,000 in May. It also sold in 2003 for $245,000 for a price gain of 38%. The same increase as the previous unit. However the interesting fact is that the first of these units sold for $520 per sf and the second one sold for $450 per sf. The difference is the view – about $55,000 when you adjust for the difference in unit size!
June was the busiest month of the year for rentals. Forty studios were leased at an average price of $1250. There were 207 one bedroom units in total leased in June. One bedroom units without parking start at $1300 and they max out at $1600 for a den plus parking. Parking is about $150 a month and a den is worth $150 per month. More two bedroom units are being rented. In June the number was 164. Two bedroom units start at $1850 without parking and average $2200 when parking and a den are included. Very few three bedroom units reach the rental market. Only four were rented at an average of $3600 in June. The rental market turns over quickly. Days-on-market for good suites is less than 15 days. Bigger units stay on the market longer 20-30 days, so renters need to act quickly when they see a unit they like!